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Best Lunch Deal in the City February 27, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in eating, food, lunch, new york city, rachel ray, restaurant.

So, as all of you know I’m a food junkie and based on prior posts on this blog I’m extremely opinionated when it comes to my food. That being said, I tend to frequent places, often by myself, to get a little down time from the office. Bars are among my favorite lunch spots since they are typically not crowded during lunch (except during march madness) and they tend to have surprisingly good food during the day (when people aren’t drunk enough to know the difference).

That being said some of my favorite places have lunch specials, which will either be the meal alone or both a drink and the meal. Remedy Bar on 52nd and 3rd had a good lunch special…it was $9.99 for most of the menu items and that came with a beer or soda (it’s since gone up to $12.99 for a limited number of items). But deals like that are what I’m after.

So one day I happened to drop into the popular happy hour spot Mercury Bar on 33rd and 3rd. They advertise a $5.95 lunch special. Being that an average sandwich in NYC is $6 and an average salad as soon as you add anything other than lettuce is $7+ I figured what the hell. A few weeks ago I had the vegetable lasagna and it was fantastic. Just like the bartender John recommended. So yesterday I figured I’d drop back in to have a quick bite. The female bartender Crystal recommended the Rigatoni with Roasted Chicken. That was fantastic as well. I’m sure I could’ve said anything on the menu and she would have said it was fantastic…but i’m glad her words didn’t disappoint. It was a nice sized portion, with roasted zucchini and 2 pieces of garlic bread. All for just $5.95. That would be like $14+ at a place like Olive Garden or like $19+ at most fancy Italian restaurants and I’m telling you, no joke, this was at least as good if not better than what you get at places like that. Really good…and not just because it was cheap, that’s just an added bonus. They have about 12 different items on the $5.95 lunch menu and so far both haven’t disappointed. Here’s the link to view their menu: http://www.mercurybarnyc.com/eastside/media/mercurybar.html

The delicious Rigatoni and Roasted Chicken at Mercury Bar

I added a Blue Moon and the bill was $12.45 w/ tax. I left $16 on the counter since I happen to be a generous tipper (if Rachel Ray was around she’d have a heart attack). Actually let me vent on her a bit. She’s a cheap ass S.O.B. She probably would’ve tipped 10 cents. I could hear her whiny, nasely voice – “you guys, I only spent $6.50 on lunch including tip. The meal was $5.95 plus 40 cents tax. Isn’t that a great deal or what. YUM-O”. I would argue she’s done more harm than good to Americans with her cheap tipping habits and her awful talk show.

Pictures like this prove why Rachel Ray is doing more harm than good to Americans

Don’t believe me? Just google Rachel Ray and Cheap sometime and see how many links there are. You’ll find people trying to defend her and say she’s overly generous. If that’s the case why go on a show that millions of viewers watch and tip 10% and below. If people are going to emulate you don’t set a bad example by tipping $1 on a $15 bill. So Rachel, do us all a favor and go back to your 30 minute meals and teach us something useful. No one needs to see your stupid magazine or your stupid talk show. Only the brainless people of the world follow her word like it’s the gospel. Yes, she’ll pull the occassional good tip or time saving thing out once in a while. But don’t sit there and tell me she’s not annoying. And a cheap ass. Cause she is. And her damn voice…it’s stuck in my head…get it out!!!

Signs, signs, everywhere signs February 27, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in humor, signs.

So we’ve all seen these types of photos before. Signs that have been manipulated to put out a comical twist on traditional “out-of-home” advertising (I’ll take useless media knowledge for $200 please).

Anyway, came across this site called Dribbleglass.com and they have all sorts of funny “photoshopped” images with billboards, signs and the like. Definitely check out the site if you get a moment…some good stuff. Here are some of my favorites…

Avi, Chris, Shye & Tom Go To White Castle February 26, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in eating, food, humor, white castle.

Avi, Chris, Shye & Tom Go To White Castle

So in honor of Avi’s 82nd…i mean 32nd bday this past weekend, we had a little get together in the city. Avi’s brother Shye and “adopted brother” Tom made the trek down from Beantown for the occassion. We “pregamed” at my apartment with some drinks and some Nintendo (Super Tecmo Bowl, Ice Hockey, Double Dribble, etc). Avi and Lauren (Avi’s girlfriend) were playing some drinking game with dice that didn’t make any sense at all. I guess the point was to pick a number between 2 and 12 and if the roll of the dice wasn’t that number you had to drink that amount you said (obviously a very pro drinking game). At one point Lauren asked me to pick a number. I quickly blurted out 2. Quote Avi “that’s the stupidest number…” followed by Lauren saying “oh my god it’s a 2”. Ha. What are the odds that she would roll a snake-eyes?? (Actually the odds are 1 in 36 for all of those who are wondering. I’ll save you the trouble of counting or googling it). Anyway it was a pretty funny moment and something that will go down in the annuals of the all time greatest “calls”. I’m also going to play mega millions on Tuesday just in case it was a sign of luck!

After getting liquored up, we officially celebrated the festivities at BB&R on the UES (that’s Blonde, Brunette and Redhead on the Upper East Side for those not in the know). The night was fun…filled with triple shots of jagermister and an experiment with Brazilian rum and coke (which you should stay away from trust us…tasted like raw sugar from someone’s ass – not that i know what that tastes like).

Anyway, Shye had never been to White Castle before and even though he’s had opportunities to go, he was waiting to visit the Castle with the world’s foremost expert on White Castle (that would be me of course). So we decided to “break his cherry” in style with a few WC novices (Tom and Avi). Avi was present last time I was at the WC in which I ate about 10 burgers in about 20 seconds…before Avi even had his second.

With Harold and Kumar being locked away and no where to be found, it was up to the four of us to represent at White Castle

Being that we were all under the influence we decided that a case of 30 should be a good amount for us to split. Plus a sack of chicken rings (the best thing on the menu if you haven’t tried). Avi wanted to push to 40 burgers (10 a piece), actually he wanted the sack of 100 but that would’ve been asking for death on a platter. So we convinced him 30 was enough.

As we were waiting for our order these two other guys (white I may add) were in there. They were a perfect match for David Spade and Chris Farley…so much so that the Spade dude was saying “look at my friend…look how fat he is” with the Farley dude rubbing his stomach for emphasis. Very bizarre. But being that was 3am in the WC nothing surprises you. And with the four of us and the two of them that was 6 white people in white castle. Probably a new record in East Harlem. And further proving my point that the gentrification of Harlem is on – just take a look at the Apollo one night…50% white. (Side note, another funny story that you just had to be there for was a night Avi and I hit the castle at 4am after a night of drinking. In walks this girl who was definitely a 10…one of the hottest girls we’ve seen and definitely one of the hottest girls to ever step foot in a White Castle. Especially in East Harlem. In fact, the funny part was the young (and large) black male working behind the counter was staring at her so hard, his headset fell off his face onto the ground and he barely even moved. That was comedy.)

Anyway, the girl behind the counter announces our order is ready. I look for a bag and don’t see anything. Suddenly she slaps a suitcase on the counter. A suitcase. Awesome. I mean imagine going to a business meeting and plopping that down on the counter. Or an drug transaction where the case was filled with burgers instead of cash.

Shye and the Crave Case

The unveiling of the holy grail

We proceeded to plow through them…or at least I did, having 6 before anyone could even remove the first one from their sleeve. I slowed down to make sure I shared the wealth (and that I didn’t puke on the spot). When all was said and done, the table was filled with nothing but empty cartons and a few crumbs. I had 9 and the other guys had 7 a piece. Not bad. Definitely soaked up all the alcohol and then some.

Showing off my world championship form

Good stuff…although not so good for our systems or my toilet, but definitely a successful first venture to the WC for Shye. Welcome to the brotherhood my friend.
Shabbat shalom.

You call this a chicken cutlet??? February 24, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in eating, food, humor.

So today I was walking from my apartment to my office to fill out my paperwork for my taxes and get me some money from the gubrment. I stopped at a normally dependable deli, Murray Hill deli on 34th and lex. Has a good selection of sandwiches and salads, etc…a decent lunch spot. I resisted the urge to stop at a bar for lunch, but in hindsight i should have. Anyway, I asked for a chicken cutlet on a roll with muenster cheese lettuce and tomato. I walked away and the guy behind the counter asked me if I wanted mustard. I said no, muenster. We had a laugh and I thought we were cool. I ventured to get a drink and picked up some chicken noodle soup. I came back got my sandwich and ventured to my office.

I had the soup which was very good, nice and salty. Tender chicken, fresh noodles. I unwrapped the sandwich and took a bite. I chewed. And chewed. And it tasted like rawhide. Like a dog chew toy…it had the same consistency. And yes I’ve chewed them before ;). I opened up the sandwich and the chicken wasn’t even chicken. It was like dried out pieces of wood. Stringy wood. Terrible. Beyond chewy…it was like having a beef jerky. Even better, guess what was missing from the sandwich…the muenster cheese. After all that. Bastard. And he charged me for it too.

The so-called “chicken cutlet”

So, so disappointing, considering chicken cutlet is one of my favorites. Needless to say on a saturday, stick to a bar for fresh food not a deli. Or have them hand carve the cutlet and fry it in front of you so you know it’s fresh. The paninis looked like they were left over from Wednesday so I stayed away, and likewise i’m sure the tuna or chicken salad wasn’t made that morning either. But still…next time, if i want rawhide I would’ve asked for it. Without mustard. Or muenster.

The Beavers are coming February 23, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in bathroom humor, beavers, food, humor, muppets, new york city, opinion, photos, pictures, prostitutes, random references, rats, restaurant, television, top blog candidate, world news.

So apparently the 1st “beaver” was spotted in NYC in over 200 years. The beaver was spotted in the Bronx. Here’s the article:

Although I’m sure they’ll later find out that the said beaver was actually a shriveled up prostitute from Hunts Point who got dumped in the river. Hey oh! Its funny though, since they are trying to develop the South Bronx (SoBo) into the next trendy area – redoing warehouses into condos and fixing up some of the crack houses. Although it’s putting the squeeze on hunts point prostitutes since the area is trying to be “gentrified” with “types of people” who aren’t out to get them some poontang.

Here’s a quote from the article: “…beaver populations are expanding, and their habitats are shrinking,” said Dietland Muller-Schwarze, a beaver expert at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse. “We’re probably going to see more of them in the future.”

Although I guess the good news for the “beavers” is that having the South Bronx developed and gentrified is opening up a new clientele to those “beavers” who sell their wares in Hunts Point, especially the ones who have been featured on HBO’s special “Hookers and Johns”.

Beavers looking for work in the South Bronx

Wait. Am I confused? What? It was an actual beaver they spotted? Like the animal? Oh…oops. Well good luck to those beavers as well. Most of the union construction jobs have already been taken.

Speaking of union jobs it seems that rats these days are trying to get in on the action (I mean why should they be denied umemployment when most illegal aliens get employed too). It appears a gang of rats infiltrated a Taco Bell/KFC this am before the store opened “looking for work”.

Read the story here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070223/ap_on_fe_st/restaurant_rats

Rat looking to bus tables

Its a good thing these rats weren’t trying to gain employment at a chinese restaurant…hey oh!

I won’t finish the punch line if you’re looking for one.

Anyway, rats have long been hard workers, mining our subways tunnels for centuries. They’ve also held memorable jobs in the restaurant industry before! In fact, who can forget the vital role rats played in the movie Muppets take Manhattan?? Rizzo the rat got himself and his friends a job in the kitchen at the diner and they saved the damn place. Even futher, his girlfriend Yolanda was the first female rat to gain a part in a movie and quite honestly was more attractive in her waitress role than most other human waitresses. Don’t believe me…compare Yolando to Flo from Mel’s Diner and you be the judge:

Yolanda lookin good in the kitchen

Flo from Mel’s Diner

The rats went beyond the kitchen, exposing themselves to great danger when they went undercover to perform a “whispering campaign” for Kermit’s Manhattan Melodies at Sardi’s. They were swatted at, stomped on and thrown to the curb. Definitely broke all sorts of animal rights violations on the set. Did you hear them complain though? Not a peep. Maybe more workers should learn from rats and just do their jobs and not complain. Then maybe we’d have a more productive workforce in this country!

A lifelong goal…achieved? February 22, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in asshole of the day, baseball, games, humor, nintendo, sports, stupidity, video, video games.

So continuing on this whole Nintendo gaming kick. I recently decided my next challenge from my gaming past was to try and throw a shutout in Nintendo Baseball. Yep, the original Nintendo baseball game with 6 teams that had letters to describe the team since they couldn’t use team licensing. So what they did was match the uniform colors to the team letter. The teams were: C (Cardinals), R (Royals), P (Phillies), Y (Yankees), D (Dodgers), A (Athletics).

The game was baseball in its simplest form. Nintendo baseball games got a lot better with the advent of baseball stars and bases loaded (yes Brian, i’m still working on getting that “footage” of Paste charging the mound in Bases Loaded).

Anyway, I’ve never thrown a shutout vs. the computer in Baseball. Its nearly impossible to do thanks to some internal “cheats” where the computer magically drums up some hits when they’re down to score a run. I mean I’ve blown the computer out several times, scoring as many as 30 runs. But pitching wise, it’s hard to keep the computer, or a human opponent for that matter, without a run.

I tried my quest with the Yankees at first and got to the 6th inning shutting out the A’s, but gave up a 3 run homer in the top of the 6th (I went on to win the game 18-5). I tried again with the Cardinals and got to the 4th inning, but a 2 run double ruined the shutout (final score 13-4).

In my frustrations I took a break. I regrouped and decided for one more run using the “pitching rich” Dodgers. I drew the Royals as an opponent, so my odds of throwing a shutout instantly increased (granted this is 1985 baseball when the Royals were decent).

In order to make the game go quickly and to concentrate on pitching, I bunted pretty much all game to get easy outs. Such went the top of the first, where i made three outs quickly. The Royals were the home team, and they threatened to end the shutout early with 2nd and 3rd and 1 out. But the generic lefty Dodger pitcher rose to the challenge with back to back strikeouts to end the threat.

The Dodgers went 3 up 3 down in the top of the 2nd as did the Royals in the bottom of the 2nd with 2 more strikeouts.

The third inning I decided to swing away and smacked a solo homerun to center field. I bunted the rest of the inning to keep the lead 1-0. Bottom of the third the Royals hit a leadoff double, but a pair of pop outs around a strikeout ended the threat. The middle innings were quiet, with the Royals picking up singles in the 5th and 7th, but getting no further. I decide to keep 1-0 lead in hopes the computer “cheat” would try to kick in if i had a big lead built up.

The bottom of the 8th brought drama as the leadoff batter for the Royals blasted a shot to left center. However I jammed him just enough to keep the ball in the park as it just hit the top of the wall for a double. After a clutch strikeout on a 3-2 count, an infield single put the Royals on 1st and 3rd with one out. The pitcher dug deep and after working a 2-2 count with mostly curveballs, I blasted a 90 mph fastball in on the hands to get a clutch strikeout. With two outs I kept lobbing in curveballs and induced a bouncer to the pitcher to end the threat. Whew.

I decided to keep the lead 1-0 going into the bottom of the ninth. The anticipation of being so close to my first Nintendo shutout was starting to make my palms sweat. I knew the computer was gonna come out swinging and they did, fouling off numerous pitches down the lines. I dug deep though and froze the first two batters with slow curveballs to two strikeouts looking. I had made both batters look like Beltran in the NLCS frozen by slow knee bending curveballs. I was beyond amped at this point.

Two outs. Bottom of the ninth. One out away from achieving a “life-long goal”…or at least a goal I had since I was a child.

My first pitch was an inside curve ball. Too far inside to nick the plate. My second pitch was an inside curve that hit the corner. Third pitch was fouled off deep to the right. Holy crap. That was close. He was on the curve. Do I go fastball and try to mix speeds up? It seemed by his swing he was looking fastball but got curved and fouled it off.

Then I made the fatal mistake of deciding to record this moment for infamy. In lieu of using my video camera since it’s non digital, I decided to use my cell phone. I had to position the camera in my lap to record the moment. I decided to go curveball inside to set up a fastball if the curve got fouled off. I was more worried about recording the event that I didn’t put as much snap on the curve as I wanted too. I wanted the pitch to go in and curve back. It was in on the hands but here’s the result (go to the blogger site to view the video):

Are you fuckin kidding me??? What an asshole I am. I knew that by recording the moment it was just asking for trouble. I could’ve just struck him out, took a picture of the screen and went from there (although some could’ve said, well you could have just been playing two player and “cheating”). So I did it legit and paid the price. Man, talk about clutch. I knew I should’ve went fastball. Devasting. So close. One strike away from a goal being fulfilled. Thanks to no extra innings in Nintendo baseball the game ended 1-1 after I struck out the next batter.

Although it did make for one of the best “live video game moments” of all time. It wasn’t like I grooved him a fastball down the middle. I was going for the strikeout and he basically crushed the ball off his hands. All it would need is Vin Scully’s voice to make it more dramatic. If I was a dork I would have audio tracked it, but don’t have that kind of time on my hands (maybe next time 🙂

I’m also willing to say that that’s one of the most dramatic and clutch homeruns of all time. Definitely ranks up there with Gibson’s HR, Puckett’s or Carter’s HRs in the World Series. If it had been a game winner could have been in the pantheon with the Yaz foul poul shot or the Bobby Thompson “Shot Heard Round the World”. Even if it didn’t take place on the “grandest stage”, those who have played Nintendo baseball know how high scoring the game is and how its very hard to throw a shutout.

Sympathy cards can be posted here if necessary or emailed to speedycdj@aol.com

The Tallest P*ssy Ever February 21, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in critique, humor, sports.

Ok…no, for those amped up on hormones it’s not what you think. I’m talking about a certain 7 foot tall basketball player from a certain academic institution that I happened to graduate from a certain number of years ago.

Since I’m not one to hold back anything, his name is James Smith and he’s a 7’0″ center for the Marist College Red Foxes. Now for those that know the MAAC Conference, know its a mid major (albeit on the lower side at times). The better known teams in the conference recently (those who have made it to the NCAA’s) include Iona and Manhattan. Marist is long known for it’s only NBA player representative, long time Indiana Pacer Rik Smits. The last time the Red Foxes made the NCAA Tournament was 1987, which was a first round loss at the hands of John Salley, Mark Price and their Georgia Tech squad. Marist nearly made the NCAA Tourney in 1995, but perhaps the worst officiating call of all time (calling a phantom foul on a 3 pointer by Mustafa Barksdale with 7 seconds left in regulation) pushed Monmouth to the conference championship game and Marist to a date in the NIT where they narrowly lost to a URI team led by Lamar Odom.

Anyway, getting back on topic, I have seen Smith play before, and was up on campus on Saturday watching him play in a “bracketbusters” game vs. Colgate. Since this game wasn’t televised on ESPN, there was less buzz in the arena that night. And subsequently the game wasn’t a sellout either like originially expected. Anyway, Smith had a 4″ height difference over Colgate’s starting center. You think game plan’s A, B and C would involve pounding the ball down Colgate’s face until they cried mercy. I mean if I was coaching that’s what I would do. However when you have a roll of Charmin playing center who rather shoot a 3 pointer than mix it up inside, that game plan goes by the way side.

Smith, to his credit, is a very good 3 point shooter (40% from downtown). However he’s in love with the three. This season he’s made 48 out of 119 three pointers which is a better three point percentage and more three pointers made by Marist’s point guard Jared Jordan (who by the way is in line to become the second Marist player drafted in the NBA http://www.roadiehoops.com/JaredJordan.htm)

However Smith’s love for the three has made him a soft center. He’s routinely getting bullied inside by shorter, stronger forwards and centers. His rebounding skills are quite average for a 7 footer. The ball sort of finds him due to his height, rather than him going out to get it. He has only 179 rebounds on the year, good for a 5.2 rpg average (in comparison, Jordan has 170 this year as a point guard, good for a 5.1 rpg average). So that’s telling you something when your point guard is arguably a better rebounder than your center. Smith also fumbles the ball a lot. During the Colgate game the ball was routinely knocked out of his hands. So much so that Marist Coach Matt Brady pulled him out of the game in favor of a more aggresive 6’8″ forward named Wilfred “Spongy” Benjamin.

Smith, at 7 feet, getting outjumped by someone about 4 inches smaller

Ok, so you can make the case that not every tall guy is a good rebounder. However wouldn’t you agree that a 7 footer in a less than powerhouse conference would be able to run ramshod over the competition. Especially when you have a 3-4 inch height difference over your opponent game after game. I mean at the very least he should be touching the ball down low 20 or so times a game, which would inevitably lead to close jumpers, hook shots, layups and maybe (gasp!) an occassional dunk? Also you would think that a 7 footer playing against small guys would get hacked quite often and spend half his night at the charity stripe. Well he’s the skinny on Smith:

He’s taken 256 shots thus far this season. 119 have been three point attempts. That’s 46% of his shots from three point range!

He’s taken 45 free throws this season. 45! Jordan has taken 147. More than 100 more free throws taken by your guard than your center. If you make the argument that Jordan is an aggressive PG, which he is, then how about the backup center/forward Spongy Benjamin taking 52 free throws thus far this season while averaging 8 minutes less per game than Smith? Or how bout the backup guard Gerald Carter, who averages 12 mins a game and has taken 34 free throws already? There’s no excuse for a 7 foot center to make more 3 pointers (48) than he has free throw attempts (45). None. No matter how good of a three point shooter he happens to be.

I can beat this argument to death, which I may of already have. So onto the good story. While at the Colgate game I was voicing my displeasure for Smith’s game (as were the people around me). I noticed a lady sitting a few rows in front of us (we were in the last row) shooting me nasty glares. I know, it’s not normal to heckle your own team in your home gym, but I’ve never been one to boo or voice my displeasure even for my home team (as evidenced by my dislike of Jorge Posada). But I was just making an observation, that our center was playing like a p*ssy.

So, during one timeout, coach Brady pulled Smith off the court and reprimanded him for missing his pick assignments. I yelled out “Sit him down Brady!”. Suddenly the said woman turns around and scowls back “You better watch what you say, that’s my son out there”. I felt bad for about, oh 1 second, and then blurted out, “maybe your son should play a little harder”. Ouch. She was less than thrilled by that one. Anyway I continued to ride Smith all game, and more telling was the crowd’s lukewarm reaction when he would check in/out of the game. That and how in the 4th quarter he had more fouls than points and thus sat his ass on the bench. The most telling part is that when he’s in the game, the guards penetrate and don’t pass to him. Ever. Because they know he won’t go strong, he’ll just dribble out or pass out for a three. I mean for christ’s sake take it strong. At one point he had a wide open dunk. So what does he do? He dribbles around and gets tied up by a guard. Unreal.

Smith getting chewed out once again by coach Brady

I’m not the only one with this opinion mind you, its an observation made by many. For a team that’s picked to go to the NCAA Tournament this year, and for a team that has scouts at every game due to its NBA ready point guard, you think that a 7 footer would want to dominate night in and night out. Show off some skills, even if he’s not a prospect himself. Take advantage of the fact that he’s 4 inches taller than everyone else on the court. But nope. He’s too much of a mama’s boy (as evidenced by his mother waiting outside the arena for him after the game with a cigarette in her hand). Am I being too harsh? Maybe. But I know that if I was 7′ tall I’d take advantage of that situation and bust my ass to make myself a good player and perhaps an NBA prospect. Then again, that’s just me.

The real "All-Star" game February 20, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in humor, nintendo, sports, video games.

So NBA All-Star weekend has come and gone. Those who knows me know I dislike the NBA recently because of the players by and large getting overpaid and the overall quality of the game slipping (with the exception of LeBron, Wade and the like) but that’s another blog. Anyway, loved the dunk competition, especially with Gerald Carter going old school with the Dee Brown jersey and the blind dunk over Nate Robinson (i’m sure its on NBA.com or YouTube if you haven’t seen it).

The three point contest was won by Jason Kapono, the former UCLA “standout”. Although it seems that besides Bird and Price “second tier” players always win the three point contest. Tim Legler, Craig Hodges, Jason Kapono. Very weird. Anyway
the skills competition was kinda stupid. Dribbling slalom and passing into a net. Very “Pro-Bowl”esque and kinda doesn’t belong. I’d rather see a couple of scantily glad show girls play 5 on 5 full court rather than watching Wade dribble around cones.

The actual All-Star game itself pretty much stunk. I mean we all saw how much it was a mismatch even without Steve Nash running the West. Not even LeBron and DWade could save the day. I think the West was up by 40 at one point. Plus how poorly did everyone shoot? Jesus. I mean these guys make millions right? I know you don’t have to care since its just an All-Star game and I know no one plays defense (as evidenced by the slashing dunks and the endless alley-oops), but everyone was clanking left and right. Too much partying in vegas I guess. But at least in the olden days guys made shots on occassion. In fact Bill Simmons just recently relieved the greatest all star game ever played, the 1987 All Star Game (Read more here)

Anyway, now in the basketball mood, I decided to recreate the all-star game on my own using the power of video games. I went to the most graphically intense video game I know….no, not NBA 2k7 or any other new console bball game. I went to the best team basketball game of all-time, Double Dribble.

To recreate the “mismatch” between West and East I decided to use the fast paced style of the West using the Chicago team vs. the talented, yet plodding East Coast style which would be played by the computer driven Boston squad. Here on forward I will refer to Chicago as East and Boston as West.

To start the game the sellout crowd poured into the arena and a trumpter with no name plays the national anthem. Already i’m liking the trumpet more than Wayne Newton. The East controls the jump ball and the West quickly steals the ball and after a few passes a nice reverse dunk by the West gets the action started.

The West feed off the energy of the dunk and go on a 18-4 burst to start the game.
The East quickly cuts the lead to 18-10, but the West goes on a 30-4 run to put them up 48-14. Being that Isiah Thomas is on the coaching staff for the East, the action continues without a timeout to stop the momentum. The West continues to pour it on, draining shots from everywhere on the court and owning the offensive glass. Every miss from 3 was followed up by a strong offensive rebound and putback. Passes were crisp and on the money, whereas the East turned the ball over constantly thanks to the West’s pressure defense.

The scoring is out of control as the East looks lost on the court. The West is unstoppable, constantly running off 20 point runs and causing all sorts of fits from the East’s coaching staff. Isiah was seen leaving the building after the lead hits 100 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter brings a 30-4 West run and the route is officially on. The only thing the East has to look forward too at this point is the Las Vegas style halftime show featuring the Double Dribble dancers. The West do not relent on their attack and it’s decided on the West’s bench to push the lead to 200 before the half. The team responds by scoring 14 points in the final 60 seconds, and achieve that goal, going into halftime leading 260-58.

The East could have called it quits but they are troopers. However in retrospect, they should have stayed in the locker room. The West rip off a 40-4 run, capped off by a vicious Dominque-like Tomahawk Jam off a fastbreak.

The crowd is in disbelief at the rout they are seeing. Some even flee to the exits in horror. The West is slowing as well as they start missing shots due to fatigue. However they push the lead to close 300 by the end of the 3rd Quarter. The East basically become walking zombies on the court in the 4th Quarter, while the West starts playing around with falling out of bounds, off the backboard jumpers and crazy passing sequences where everyone touches the ball twice in 10 seconds. It’s high comedy time as the West finds a second wind with their bench players and starts to put the attack in overdrive. By the 9 minute mark of the 4th Quarter, the West reach a 400 point lead, up 494-94.

The rest of the game was spent by the West trying to hit crazy shots from half and full court. The East didn’t take too kindly to the West’s tactics but the West continued to humiliate the East regardless. While the West backed off the scoring a bit, they held the East in check. The East was able to break the century mark, much to the West’s dismay. Final score, 559-114.

The West has already vowed next year to hit the 600 point mark while holding the East to under 100. Stay tuned to see how that plays out!

Beat boxing flute player February 16, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in American Idol, humor.

Ok so now that that beatboxer is through on American Idol to the top 24, it seems beatboxing is back in the limelight. Justin Timberlake is the only one recently to beat box in the public eye, but now with this guy Blake in the American Idol fold, it seems we may get more beatboxers, like this guy who beatboxes with the flute while playing the theme to Inspector Gadget.

Pretty cool i guess…although he’s no Mid-Range from Showtime at the Apollo’s amateur night who won multiple weeks in a row by beatboxing, playing the trumpet and rapping. Never seen a white guy get an ovation like that at the apollo. Then again, it’s half white in the crowd there now, so the Apollo management is basically just a bunch of sellouts. But if I can ever find that Midrange clip I’ll post it here.

View from the top February 15, 2007

Posted by whatpushesmybuttons in food, humor, new york city.
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On Saturday, Paul, Ann Marie, Bridget & I played tourist. We took the NBC Studio Tour which I haven’t done since Jr. High School. It was fun…went into the dateline studios and also the NBC Nightly News studio. Anyone who knows me knows I enjoyed that one, since the whole Tom Brokaw/Opie and Anthony skits are one of my favorites. I busted out a few “Tom Broke kaw, NBC, Knight ley News” that brought a few chuckles from the group. Ok, maybe only from myself. But it was funny. Trust me.

Anyway, we happened to see SNL filming one of their segments which was fun. Although we were behind the pane glass windows so couldn’t hear what was going on.
Unfortunately for me no Don Pardo sightings although I did see him last time on the tour 13+ years ago, in which I blurted out “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night” in my Don Pardo voice (i have one of the best Pardo impersonations I know of – just ask Coogan). Paul got to be a volunteer to read the news from a telepromter which was funny. I passed on being a volunteer, although I could have done the weather like Ollie from Family Guy (ITS GONNA RAIN!). But I’m sure no one would’ve gotten the joke besides Paul and I.

Then we went over to the Top of the Rock which I hadn’t been up to before. It was really cool. I like the fact that their are multiple levels to view the city from so not everyone is crammed together. Also they have plexiglass to shield the wind in certain spots which is definitely cool. You can also sit indoors and admire the view as well. I think it’s actually better than the Empire State Building because a) you can see the ESB b) you have the view of Central Park. Definitely worth it. Here’s some of the pics I snapped on my cell phone of the view (click for a larger albeit low res view):

Coming soon…I was recently asked by Erika what the best chicken parm place was in the city. I blurted out my favorites, Bella Napoli, Magniero’s for chicken parm hero. My chicken parm, Bella Napoli, Coppola’s, Tony DiNapoli’s, as some of the favorites for chicken parm plates. But I want to go on a quest to find the best chicken parm in the city (much like Time Out New York did to find the best pizza). So if you know of any places or have any suggestions please let me know.